pWdumaNjA-6CEEBhRoD5euxNETs When All This Actual Life Played Out: May 2011

31 May 2011


A restaurant
New York, New York
11 May 2011

The daughter and I were on our way back to the hotel after Wicked when this place caught my eye. It was one of those "No. Really, no" moments. I took a photo for the son's amusement, but then after I fiddled with the tilt-shift generator, I liked it well enough to keep it.

Still, no.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone4; tilt-shift generator in Instagram in post. It never occurred to us to go inside, but from the reviews I read after the fact, it sounds like it was definitely a miss.

30 May 2011

In memory

East Coast Memorial
Battery Park
New York, New York
11 May 2011

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40.

28 May 2011

Don't blink

Metropolitan Museum of Art
10 May 2011

They're watching...

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40.

25 May 2011


Ptolemaic kitteh
Metropolitan Museum of Art
12 May 2011

Another Holy Grail for the Mixed-Up Files... fans.

The daughter and I spent a lot of time in the Egyptian wing because we're both fascinated by ancient Egypt.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40.

24 May 2011

Feed me!

Pond life
Throop Memorial Garden, California Institute of Technology
Pasadena, California
14 May 2011

I used to hang out on the benches here and read while the spouse was busy blowing up the copying machine or whatever he used to do in the basement of Arms. I've not seen crayfish for awhile, but the turtle population remains large. Such Pavlovian little aquatic dogs, they come to the edge of the pond as people approach, no doubt hoping for a handout.

Sadly, I had nothing to pay this one's modeling fee. I suppose I should have saved a piece of doughnut.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40.

23 May 2011

Chapel wall

Tomb Chapel of Raemkai
Metropolitan Museum of Art
12 May 2011

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40.

22 May 2011

Every year is a gift

The Sphere
Battery Park
New York, New York
11 May 2011

I say it frequently: every year is a gift. And I know that people think I'm being Pollyanna when I say it, but I've experienced enough to believe it. Yes, life is hard. I've had a lifetime's worth of tribulation already, which has been far more than some have seen and far, far less than others have endured. And yes, I've wanted to sink under the burdens of poverty and death and illness and difficulty and hopelessness. But there is still too much to do. Necessary stuff and good stuff. And too little time to do it.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40.

20 May 2011

A healthy part of your diet

Rick's Cafe
11 May 2011

You hear these days that no one reads the paper. And it's true that when the daughter and I went down to the breakfast room at our hotel, most people were gathered in front of the television. We would go to the adjacent room (no TV) and I'd grab a copy of the paper as I took our coffee to a table. When the daughter arrived with her food, she would snatch a section, and together we'd read the morning paper over breakfast.

I will admit that only I looked at the sports section.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone4.

19 May 2011

Yo ho, yo ho

Times Square
New York, New York
10 May 2011

The daughter is incredibly anxious for this film's release. I'm mildly dubious given it's got a different director, but hopeful since I like the author of the book on which it was based. And was astonished to learn he teaches an occasional class at the daughter's high school.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40. Alright, I was envious to learn that Tim Powers sometimes teaches at the daugther's high school.

18 May 2011

Lord of the dance

Metropolitan Museum of Art
10 May 2011

Me: "The Riverdance of the antiquities."
The daughter: "Mom, he doesn't have any feet!"

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40. I am irreverent at the best of times. Two hours of walking through galleries on a partially paralyzed leg was not the best of times. But I maintained, and the daughter and I had a blast. Also, absolutely no idea what that was all about because I never made it to the explanation on the base.

17 May 2011

Grand dame

Grand Central & 42nd St Subway Station
New York, New York
12 May 2011

The daughter thought I was mental because I was taking photos of the station name mosaics along the subway. Then again, she's never seen the Moscow subway.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone4.

16 May 2011

"Sarah looks like Pharaoh."

Egyptian Art
Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York, New York
12 May 2011

They erupted out of this gallery as I was photographing a statue, one of many school groups visiting the museum that day. I'm sure that none of them was named Sarah, nor did anyone particularly resemble Pharaoh. But the thought passed through my brain irresistibly.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40. The quote is, of course, from EL Konigsburg's From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler.

15 May 2011

Into the future

Toward Milliken from Arms
14 May 2011

I can't tell you how many hours, how many days I've spent here. I wasn't a student, but a support system, and funnily enough, known to plenty of faculty members for that reason alone.

(As well as my incessant questioning and my incandescent personality.)

Still, I got an education. Because I'm like that. Incessant. Questioning. Impossible. Interested.

Insatiable? Yeah.

It was here that I realized that for me, a Ph.D. would be just another set of letters behind my name. That I realized that I'd proved everything I needed to prove. That I was free to move on from formal education.

I never move on from informal education. Because I'm like that.

And yesterday, I saw that even a place such as this no longer contains what I need. It's become diminished, a victim of its own ivory tower. Much of the educational system has fallen into similar disrepair, but I really hoped that higher learning could overcome that. Yet, I sat here for hours, challenging everything that was said, seeing the cracks, pointing out that the emperor has no clothes.

Because I'm like that.

Knowledge should be a means to an end, and it's ok if it's an end in itself because that is how we move forward. But when science becomes a means to spend funding, it's useless and the motivation is cynical. When I watch a younger generation reinventing the wheel, I am appalled because knowledge is meant to build upon itself, and there are answers we need now to questions that have been taken back to the drawing board because the scientists are too arrogant to use what is already known.

Most disappointingly, I watched a professor try to defend a model that has existed for nearly a century, that applies to a tiny subset of a larger problem and finally to announce that his math proves the model! Yes, guess what. We argued with another scientist 20 years ago why that exact computer model doesn't work in a larger context. Further, Newtonian physics showed us that things fall down hundreds of years ago. Running findings on a bigger computer isn't progress, and what we were shown wasn't science. It was useless. Worse, it was admitted laziness.

You'd better hope that's not the wave of the future.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40. Yes, I admit the subject matter is better suited to the other blog, but there it is.

13 May 2011

As the sun dropped over the horizon

Empire State Building
12 May 2011

I travel mainly to see, to refocus, to learn, to change perspective. The East Coast gives me something the West Coast can't, something that is in my blood, in my history. It is there in the buildings, in the stones, in what paves the sidewalks. And it may glitter, but it isn't gold.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40.

09 May 2011

I can't believe I'm doing this by phone

And it doesn't work! I can't post a photo!

05 May 2011

Not another camera

5 May 2011

The poor cat couldn't believe that I kept waving another thing at him. Finally, he just tucked his head under his paw and heaved a sigh.

Tech stuff: Taken with an iPhone4, Instagram filter. I am not thrilled with the idea that Instagram forces me to share my photos with the world. I have a bad feeling that every app may be that way.